Students got a hard-hitting lesson about the importance of staying safe with a talk by knife crime survivor and author Natalie Queiroz. Pregnant Natalie – who came within minutes of losing her life and that of her unborn child after being stabbed 24 times in 2016 – shared her shocking experience with 2,000 students as part of a programme of events promoting safety at Uxbridge College.
The talk was part of the college’s ongoing programme of activities and services to support students in life and skills such as safety, careers and employability, physical and mental health, personal and relationship issues.
Natalie talked about the series of events which began with kissing her partner goodbye in the morning of the multiple stabbing in a street in Sutton Coldfield – then later discovering that he had been responsible for the attack that nearly claimed her life.
Thanks to the brave actions of members of the public in restraining her attacker, as well as the work of the police, air ambulance and medical staff, Natalie and her baby daughter pulled through.
Having gone through a long physical and psychological rehabilitation process, Natalie has rebuilt her life, writing a book about her experiences, entitled Still Standing, becoming a motivational speaker and setting up her charity Inspire 2 Quit Blades to combat knife crime.
Liam Plumridge of Uxbridge College, who organised the event, said: Natalie’s talk was really impactful and moving and a powerful message to students at a time when knife crime is all too often in the news. At Uxbridge College we want young people to stay as safe as possible, which is why we provide them with the information and support they need to help them make positive and constructive choices in every area of their lives. It was a real inspiration to have Natalie with us and I know it was extremely thought-provoking for everyone who heard her speak.
Natalie said: Thank you so much to Uxbridge College for an incredible day – it was a real privilege to share my story with so many thoughtful and engaged young people – the students were amazing. To have the opportunity to share the true reality of my stabbing with so many young people and hopefully give them a chance to really reflect on the true dangers associated with knife crime is invaluable. The positive response to my story was incredible – I was truly blessed with the warm welcome from all the college. Thank you.
She added: The reason I share my experience is to give young people the true hard-hitting reality of being a stab victim – to try to overcome any potential desensitisation through the various form of media that bombard their lives. By giving them the true accurate picture, then they can make positive balanced and informed decisions about their safety.